6 Replies Latest reply: Oct 9, 2013 2:51 AM by GarryfromNewYork
rolfknudsen Level 1 (0 points)



I'm new to this forum and while my questions, at least in parts very possibly has been covered somewhere here, I still hope to get input on my specific scenario:


We are a small design studio with two work stations (Mac Pro 8-core and 4-core) connected to a G5 server, via two 100 Gbit switches. Our data is backed up using time machine using external drives.


We are rendering a lo directly to the server, often with large output files. We also allow freelancers access to our server and will scale up to 5+ people in total over the next year.


I am thinking of swapping our G5 server for a Synology NAS, for three reasons:


• Hard drive scalability I.e number of HD slots available (only one extra drive allowed in the G5)

• Read speed. I understand from other threads that this 1.5mbs on a G5 and worry this is a bottle neck while rendering.

• fragile backup system


I'm very worried about the fragility of our current backup system. This consists of a couble of external discs backing up using time machine. These are placed in near proximity to the server (cable length) and while I could locate them somewhere else in in the building in case of brake in, it still will not help in case of a fire destroying the entire building.


After having researched different cloud options I do not feel this this is the way forward: we need 1-2tb backup space which cost wise does not compare well to a NAS and a couple of drives.


Would it be feasible to run offsite backup as two synced NAS servers? One in the studio and one at home syncing over the Internet say 5 times per 24 hours?? Backup would be 200-500mb a day.


I do not have the time and more importantly the skills to maintain and work with a server and are hoping the NAS might be an even leaner fileserver solution for us I.e automatic server updates and acces over VPN as a mere password login ( we LOVE Dropbox)


Thank you in advance for your time!!!

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (55,245 points)

    1 to 2TB cannot be copied into the cloud or to another site in 24 hours.


    Time Machine backups have the advantage that they happen automatically within the last hour. But it can be inconvenient to remove the drives and start over every day.


    Your proposed solution does not appear to address your top stated concern.


    You need Additional backup sets (in addition, not a replacement, for Time Machine) whose drives can be physically carried offsite nightly. The traditional way of doing this is with a 3-or-more set rotation, where at least one set is always guaranteed to be off-site.


    Example: set C takes today's backup and is carried off site at the end of the day. It is placed next to B on the shelf at home. set A comes to the Office the next day to accept the backup at the end of the day. These "snapshot" backups can be done easily with Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper!, Rdisc, and many others. Some of these can do incremental backups onto the same drives to save time if you prefer.


    You may be able to do unattended backups, such as overnight, instead of end-of-day with someone sitting there. as long as one set stays off-site at all times.

  • NickKnack Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi Rolf,


    A lot of small companies are in a similar situation to what you've described -- needing to upgrade backup functionality without a big budget or IT guy to manage it.


    Using a NAS as an expandable fileserver makes sense. However, syncing it to another NAS 5 times per 24 hours, where the home bandwidth may be much less than the 100Gbit you have at the office sounds "fragile" to me -- especcially if one sync is still running when it's time for the next to start.


    In your research of cloud backup options did you find Zetta.net? The performance is well above the consumer online backup products I hear advertised on the radio, for example, and pricing is lower than other server backup solutions. The "incremental forever" backup means that your whole 2TB doesn't have to get repeatedly transfered, just the data that's changed since yesterday/the day before.


    The point-in-time backup snapshots you get with Zetta could also be very useful to a design studio, if you ever have a need to go back to a previous version of a design.

  • rolfknudsen Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you both for coming back to me. I have been off work with the global flue bug, so apologies for this late reply.


    Both your scenarios are very usefull, but after thinking long and hard about your answers I think I will do as follows:


    Stick with the G5 for now as a server and buy a Synology NAS for off site storage. Before I install it at home (i.e off site) I will the run a full backup in the studio from the server onto the NAS connected the same network. This means fastets possible backup and once the NAS is placed off site it will run differnetial backups using Chrash Plan. My understanding is that their backup method works much like Time machine in that it only backs up new or changed data once the full back up is in place.


    Then again I might misunderstand the whole thing....


    Many thanks,



  • Sami-h Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Rolf


    I was reading your post with interest as I have the same dilema.  I just wonder if the crashplan and offsite NAS option worked for you?





  • Elkhornsun Level 1 (0 points)

    We live in California about 50 miles south of San Jose and so our internet access is on par with a third world country, i.e. dialup at 49K, so backing up to a cloud is not an option. Instead we backup from one NAS to a second onsite NAS once a week and the rest of the time the second NAS is offsite. The odds of a fire destroying the NAS is very remote as is the likelihood of having two of its 4 drives fail at the same time. The odds of theft are even less likely than a fire. There is a probability of 1 in 10,000 of these two events occuring.


    More likely is the electronics on the NAS box failing and needing to replace the motherboard if possible and the delay in obtaining the repairs. It is for this reason that a weekly backup is done to a second NAS box. Worst case we would lose 6 days of work.


    We have information on our NAS that we do not want to share with the NSA and its millions of private contractors so the cloud is also too public for our needs. Weigh the odds of the diffrerent disaster scenarios and what would be lost and the cost to recover and then decide.


    For direct NAS  to NAS backup we have had the most success with the Qnap products.

  • GarryfromNewYork Level 1 (0 points)



    The thread is old, I know it, but I`ve just found an utility that might help you and other guys in backing up to NAS. Here is the software (Handy Backup), it seems they can do something in the area. Am I right?